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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28524
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog is coughing constantly the last 10 days. I took m to

Customer Question

My dog is coughing constantly the last 10 days. I took him to the vet and started him on Tamerel-P the last 5 days. He cannot even sleep. How can I help him?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Teddy Bear. What was he diagnosed with that prompted the prescribing of Temaril-P? This pill contains an antihistamine (trimeprazine) and a small amount of a corticosteroid (prednisolone). It's usually prescribed as an antipruritic (anti-itch) drug but does have weak antitussive (anti-cough) effects.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has a collapsing esophagus. I adopted him from a rescue last December. He had an episode of coughing like this last March. Tameral-P was given to him for a few days and he was fine. This started my first day back at school teaching. I think he must have barked a lot while I was gone. He has been coughing ever since. It is loud. My son even wakes up at night and he sleeps on a different floor.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

A collapsing trachea, perhaps? If so, and because the Temaril-P isn't doing the trick, he'll need a narcotic antitussive to break up the vicious cycle of coughing>irritation>coughing. Ask Teddy Bear's vet for a prescription of either hydrocodone, butorphanol, or diphenoxylate. Bronchodilators may benefit Teddy Bear if he suffers from an intrathoracic tracheal collapse or expiratory effort that doesn't improve with these cough suppressants. Terbutaline, albuterol, and theophylline are such bronchodilators. A higher dose of prednisolone may be helpful as well but not a higher dose of antihistamine which will dry his airways out and exacerbate coughing.

For now, please avoid over the counter cough suppressants such as those containing dextromethorphan. They're no more effective than teaspoons of honey which are worth a try for Teddy. Do you have a sedative at home - even human - for which I might be able to give a dose for Bear?

I regret that I'm not allowed to communicate with customers by phone.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You are correct about the trachea. I just wrote it incorrect. I do not have a sedative, but I have Children's Benadryl. I have been told to use that when my other dog (cocker) gets freaked out by storms. I cannot say it helps much to calm him down. I do have honey.
I can take Teddy Bear back to the vet tomorrow. Do you have any ideas to help get him to sleep?No worries about the phone call. Just thought you would be able to hear the cough.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

He already has an antihistamine on board. I'm afraid that the Benadryl will further dry out his respiratory tract and exacerbate his coughing but at this point perhaps we need to see if we can knock him out with it. You can dose it up to 2 mg/lb (maximum dose of 50 mg at one time). Go ahead and give the honey too!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well; I think he is due for a good night sleep (me too). His chest muscles must be sore from his exaggerated/forceful exhale. For one night the Benaryl will not hurt him too much??
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Correct. It's more important to see if we can sedate him to the point of sleeping through his irritated trachea. Everybody has to get some sleep...

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks!!!!! Cheers!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The vet today prescribed hydrocodone. Thanks again!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank goodness!